The Longlifers
Amount Raised:
Fundraising Goal $25,000.00

Bruce Lee

is participating on October 24, 2020 to fight blood cancers



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Hi Friends, Family and Supporters,

Welcome to our Light The Night Team Page, The Longlifers with Team Captain Pat Alexander who is also this years Honoured Hero! We appreciate your support in a cause that is very close to us, we have an ambitious goal of raising $25,000 to help make a difference in people's lives, like Pat's, fighting blood cancers. 

This is a true story, written by Pat: 

One day about 10 years ago I found myself in a very unfamiliar place; confronted by a powerful, vicious alien.  I thought: Hey, this can’t be real.  I’ve heard about aliens and they scare me, but I never imagined that I’d have to face one right here where I live.  I don’t know anything about fighting aliens, and I’m positive I don’t have the right weapons.  Maybe I could try to run away and hide from it, but first I need to pry its sharp claws open because it has a real tight grip on my chest.  It snuck up a grabbed me with those claws when I wasn’t paying attention, and damn they hurt.  If I can’t figure out how to get out of its unrelenting grip, I’m a goner for sure.  I need some serious help right now.  HELP!!  IS THERE ANYBODY OUT THERE WHO CAN GET ME AWAY FROM THIS ALIEN KILLER??  HELP!!

That little tale sums up how I felt when I was told I had blood cancer.  It was just before Christmas in 2010, and although I kept calm on the outside because I didn’t want to ruin Christmas for my family; inside I was screaming for help.  My brain was spinning like it was in the clothes dryer.  The nice doctor at Vancouver General Hospital’s oncology department had explained to me why I had been feeling unwell.  I was always short of breath, and my heart had shooting pains.  Multiple Myeloma blood cancer was the reason.  More specifically, he said I had a rare variant called Cardiac Amyloidosis.  He wanted me to begin chemo treatment at 8:00 AM Boxing Day morning…4 days away.

As soon as I had a bit of time alone back at home, I opened my laptop to see what Mr. Google could tell me about my situation.  I tapped my keyboard, typed in the name of my cancer; and up popped a bunch of links.  The third one on the page was ‘Average Life Expectancy’, so of course that’s the one I clicked on.  The prognosis for the variant I had was about seven months unless I responded well to treatment.  Wow, I said to myself, I may not be here for Christmas next year!  That got my attention. 

Back at the Google page the next link up said

Multiple Myeloma-Get Resources and Information:  Disease, Treatment & Support Info for Patients & Caregivers. Learn More!

Click…and as I began to read about my disease, I immediately realized that I was not alone facing this alien.  There was help, lots of it.  Well presented information in terms I could understand with as much detail as I cared to absorb.  I took my brain out of the dryer and used it to learn about treatment options, symptoms, centers of excellent care, etc.  Then I started to read the stories written by survivors, explaining how they had learned about their disease, their courses of treatment, and most importantly how their lives were now.  Soon I was convinced that together we could get these alien claws off me and I could start heading in the right direction.  My scream for HELP was replaced with a more powerful ‘H’ word:  HOPE.  I began to rely on the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s staff for answers.

By the fall of 2011 I had completed months of chemo and my cancer was in remission.  My wife Kathy and our 2 adult children Kris and Katie helped me navigate our first Light the Night walk that October.  Stanley Park was the vortex of emotional energy and inspiration…thousands of people, each with their own coloured lantern.  Red for supporters, White for survivors, and Gold for the memory of someone the alien took.

Many years passed, my health and strength continued to improve; and I continued to take advantage of the support the LLS has to offer.  Several informational gatherings with talks about new treatments from experts, where I learned and interacted with people traveling the same road as me.  Sharing our unique experiences and knowledge was a special gift.  I learned that I could help others by simply telling them my story and helping them learn the power of Hope.  Megan at the LLS asked if she could have me phone recently diagnosed people who wanted to talk to someone who had met the alien and got away.  I always felt grateful when I made one of these calls.

Each October our family and some friends would gather for the Light the Night walk.  Some of these friends were travelers I had met along the treatment road.  It seemed to me that every year the positive energy became more powerful, especially when the sky was clear, and all the lights of the city joined in.  To look back towards the Lion’s Gate Bridge all brightly lit, with thousands of coloured lanterns carried high along the seawall, is the vision of HOPE.

Since that first encounter with the amazing medical professionals at the end of 2010, I have been back for a couple of tune-ups and currently go to VGH for monthly infusions of a new drug, Darzalex, that is keeping my cancer under control.  My heart and kidneys have been permanently damaged by the cancer, but like most people I’ve learned to adapt, and my life is grand.  The LLS helped me navigate the best ways to self-advocate and gain access to Darzalex when it first became available.  Their contacts and knowledge of the process for obtaining new drugs was key, and after my first 2 treatments in early 2019 my cancer was under control again, where it remains.  The LLS funds research for these new drugs and provides valuable feedback to the companies that develop them.

Light the Night is the largest single event that the LLS holds each year to raise the funds they spend on resources, patient support, and research.  This year the main event will be Virtual on October 24th, but many groups are arranging smaller walks in their neighbourhoods carrying lanterns provided by the LLS.  Every region across the country names a survivor to be the local spokesperson for Light the Night.  They call this person an Honoured Hero, and I am the one sincerely honoured to be that person for the Lower Mainland this year.  My team will be raising as much funding as we can because we all know firsthand what a difference the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, has made in our lives.  We’re called the ‘LongLifers’ and you can join us by clicking here:

Our team goal this year is to raise $25,000.  That`s the equivalent of about 3 infusions of Darzalex, which for people like me is life saving.  These are now paid for by our Province with help from cancer foundations and societies; so, the need is real and the dollars we raise make a real difference.

Thank-you for reading my story, and for joining our stand against the alien invasion.

Event Date
Oct 17, 2020 4:30 PM
Location Name
Vancouver 2020
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Our Team

To donate to the individual, please click on the contact below.

Our Supporters (17)

In memory of David Brauer donated $100.00
Oct 25, 2020 1:47 PM
Nicola Wealth Gives Back left a message
Oct 24, 2020 6:36 PM
Thank you to Pat for his great support of the LLSC, and to all those who have supported the Longlifers Team.
Nicola Wealth Gives Back donated $2,500.00
Oct 24, 2020 6:35 PM
Victoria Emslie donated $350.00
Oct 24, 2020 5:14 PM
Michael Bateman left a message
Oct 23, 2020 11:00 PM
Wear warm socks.
Michael Bateman donated an undisclosed amount
Oct 23, 2020 10:58 PM
David Johnson Survivor. donated $50.00
Oct 23, 2020 1:57 PM
Nicola Wealth Gives Back donated $2,500.00
Oct 19, 2020 5:18 PM
dominicrubino donated $100.00
Oct 14, 2020 2:37 PM
The Shortt family left a message
Oct 13, 2020 6:08 PM
Dear Pat, You are our hero! May you continue to move towards a very long life along with your beloved family
Anonymous Donor donated an undisclosed amount
Oct 6, 2020 12:00 AM
Peter G left a message
Sep 28, 2020 7:34 PM
Pat has not only battled this disease but also made the extra effort to mentor two Vinyltek employees who needed his help and guidance from the same disease--Milad and Melchor -they thank you Pat and so do we -
David left a message
Sep 23, 2020 9:49 PM
To Pat and the team - thanks for being so generous with sharing your story and putting your time and energy into helping others!
Ian Aikenhead, Q.C. left a message
Sep 23, 2020 7:10 PM
Best wishes on a successful walk with your team!
Louise Heilbron left a message
Sep 18, 2020 9:02 PM
Thank you for all your hard work in this cause Mr. Alexander
Dave Towers left a message
Aug 27, 2020 9:20 PM
Longlifer Pat has been a lifelong friend of the Towers family. My sister and I are each donating $ $125 which together amounts to 1% of the goal. It doesn't seem like much, but if 200 people gave $ 125 the goal would be met. Take care my friend
Ray left a message
Aug 23, 2020 10:01 PM
You have always been an inspiration to us, Pat, and a most cherished friend. It is a privilege to support you and congratulations on your appointment as spokesperson.

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